What are blood thinners?
Blood thinners forestall blood clots, which might cease blood circulate to the center. Study how they work, who ought to take them, unintended effects, and pure treatments.
Blood thinners are medicines taken orally or intravenously (by a vein) to stop a blood clot. Blood clots can cease the circulate of blood to the center, lungs, or mind. They will trigger a coronary heart assault or stroke.
Your physician might advocate taking a blood thinner in case you have coronary heart illness, together with coronary heart valve illness, and irregular coronary heart rhythms.
Blood thinners should be taken precisely as directed. Whenever you don’t take sufficient, the treatment gained’t be as efficient. Taking an excessive amount of can result in extreme bleeding.
Some blood thinners skinny the blood to maintain blood cells from sticking collectively within the veins and arteries. Others forestall blood clots by growing the period of time it takes for blood clots to type. These are generally known as antiplatelet and anticoagulant medication respectively.
Antiplatelet medication forestall blood cells (referred to as platelets) from clumping collectively and forming clots. Examples of antiplatelet medication are:
- clopidogrel (Plavix)
- dipyridamole (Persantine)
- ticlopidine (Ticlid)
Docs typically prescribed medicines referred to as anticoagulants to individuals who have been recognized with some types of coronary heart illness. “Coagulate” is a medical time period meaning “to clot.” These blood thinners forestall blood clots by growing the period of time it takes your blood to clot.
Anticoagulants forestall clots from forming. Widespread anticoagulant blood thinners embody:
- warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
- enoxaparin (Lovenox)
Newer anticoagulants with much less threat of bleeding embody:
- dabigatran (Pradaxa)
- apixaban (Eliquis)
- rivaroxaban (Xarelto)
Your physician will rigorously monitor your dosage of blood-thinning treatment. They might sometimes run a prothrombin time (PT) take a look at for some medicines. This blood take a look at measures your worldwide normalized ratio (INR).
INR is the speed at which your blood clots. An acceptable INR fee varies from individual to individual in accordance with their medical historical past. Staying inside your INR vary can forestall you from bleeding excessively or clotting too simply.
Blood thinners might trigger unintended effects in some folks. Extreme bleeding is the commonest response. It will probably happen in quite a lot of methods, together with:
- heavy durations
- bloody or discolored urine or feces
- bleeding gums
- extended bleeding from a lower
Different unintended effects can embody:
- muscle weak point
- hair loss
The presence of blood thinners in your system can enhance your threat of inside bleeding after an harm. Go to the hospital straight away in case you expertise any of those unintended effects after falling or bumping your head — even in case you don’t have exterior bleeding.
Your physician might let you know to restrict your participation involved sports activities to scale back the chance of bleeding. Nevertheless, this doesn’t imply you may’t train or dwell a standard life. Swimming, strolling, and jogging are wonderful types of train and are secure for most individuals taking anticoagulants. Talk about along with your physician which forms of train could also be greatest for you.
Inform your dentist that you simply’re taking blood thinners to keep away from extreme bleeding throughout common enamel cleanings.
It’s additionally essential to guard your self when utilizing knives, scissors, or yard tools.
Varied meals, herbs, and medicines can intrude with blood thinners. These substances could make the drug kind of efficient than your dosage would counsel. Nevertheless, not all blood thinners are affected by the identical substances. It’s essential to talk along with your physician or heart specialist about your weight loss program and the way it might influence the effectiveness of your treatment.
Vitamin Ok can reduce the effectiveness of some anticoagulants, equivalent to warfarin. Relying on the actual treatment you’re taking, you should still have the ability to eat meals with low to reasonable ranges of vitamin Ok. Nevertheless, you need to keep away from consuming sure meals that comprise reasonable to excessive ranges of vitamin Ok. These embody:
- brussels sprouts
- mustard greens
- turnip greens
- collard greens
Individuals who take anticoagulant medicines ought to use natural dietary supplements and teas with warning. A number of herbs intrude with the anticlotting skills of blood thinners. They will additionally enhance your threat of bleeding and the period of time you bleed.
Discuss to your physician earlier than utilizing any natural complement or tea, particularly the next:
- night primrose oil
- dong quai
- gingko biloba
- willow bark
Alcoholic drinks and cranberry juice can be dangerous when utilizing blood thinners. Keep away from this stuff as a lot as potential.
Take prescription and over-the-counter medicines with warning whenever you’re utilizing blood thinners. A lot of antibiotics, antifungal medication, ache relievers, and acid reducers can enhance your threat of bleeding. Different medication, together with contraception tablets, can lower the results of anticoagulants and enhance your threat of growing a blood clot. Make certain to inform your physician about all of the medicines you’re taking.
Sure meals and herbs are pure anticoagulants and may also help forestall your blood from clotting. Test along with your physician earlier than consuming these meals in case you’re taking a blood-thinning treatment, as a result of they might skinny your blood an excessive amount of.
Pure anticoagulants embody:
- celery seed
Meals wealthy in vitamin E are additionally pure blood thinners. A lot of oils comprise vitamin E, equivalent to olive, corn, soybean, and wheat germ. Different meals sources of vitamin E embody:
- peanut butter
- sunflower seeds
Pure anticoagulants may be helpful to your coronary heart well being, however devour them with warning.